A Story of Two Donors
For every refugee and survivor of human trafficking who is able to start over and become an independent and involved member of a new community, there are dozens of people who have assisted them on their journey. There are the incredible volunteers who mentor, teach and support our clients. There are those who donate household items to help create a home for someone starting from scratch. And there are those who donate the funds needed to sustain and grow our programs, as well as the dollars needed to enhance services through new initiatives. The attendees at our dinner on October 25th, helped us raise over $100,000.00 and we thank them for making the night such a great success and celebration.
The tremendous support we received by all attendees at the dinner was truly inspiring; however, there were two donors whose reasons for contributing were particularly powerful and unique. These individuals have inspired and moved us and we wanted to share their stories with you today.
One of the donors is a fifth grader in the Tukwila School District, where many newly arrived refugee students first attend school. The young girl’s teacher, Caroline Morgan, was the IRC’s ELL Specialist this summer in the Newcomer School Readiness Program and led the youth choir‘s performance at the dinner. On the day of the event, Caroline explained to her students that she was dressed up because she was going to the IRC dinner that night to help raise funds for newly arrived refugees. Her students asked her to explain what a refugee was and what the IRC did. At the end of her explanation, one of Ms. Morgan’s students came up to her, two dollars in hand, to donate to the IRC. Her grandparents had been refugees from Vietnam and they had told her how difficult the transition to life in the U.S. had been. The help they had received as newcomers from the broader community had meant the world to them. It was all she had, but she convinced Caroline she wanted it all to go to the IRC to help new refugees.
The second donor was in attendance the night of the dinner, but his donation arrived at the IRC office a few days later. It came with a note saying he was inspired by the stories of survival expressed at the dinner and enjoyed meeting the IRC staff. He expressed a desire to help in whatever capacity we needed. He explained he worked three jobs, so time was tight, but he was committed to trying to find the time to volunteer. The envelope also contained a $25 donation. He had been at the event as one of the servers during dinner. He had also come to the U.S. as a refugee and was in the process of rebuilding his own life (three jobs!). For the second time in less than a week, we were left amazed, humbled and inspired by the people who choose to help us achieve our mission.
All of our donors our special and are part of the overall effort to help people on their journeys from harm to home. Whether it is $2 or $200,000, every gift has meaning, is put to good use and is appreciated by all of us at the IRC. Thank you.
Return to the IRC in Seattle or Become an IRC in Seattle Donor